Comfortably Numb

Sheila Kumar's Storehouse

Published on: 02/21/19 9:50 AM

Book review: Twin Tales from Kutcch by Saeed Ibrahim

This quiet story, told in a quiet manner, opens a window into the lives of Kutcchi Memons, allowing us a close look at their lifestyle, their rituals, their dress and customs, and makes for a most interesting read.

The author presents to us the tales of Aisha Jan Mohammed and Aisha Usman, two women orphaned at a cruelly young age, brought up lovingly if a trifle ineptly by aunts, and forced to shape their own lives according to what fate has in store for them.

The two Aishas` lives intertwine at several points in the story and while the reader cannot really make a comparison between the two, it is their different destinies that one marvels at.

Interspersed with the personal histories of the two Aishas is an account of India in colonial times, reflecting the changes that sweep across the country, the advent of the winds of freedom, the comforting details of communal co-existence and the unalloyed celebration of diversity, plurality. We are taken to Bhuj, Malegaum (now Malegaon), to the Bombay of the late 1800s where we stay through to 1934, with a side-stop at Deolali.

It is a genteel tale and Ibrahim adopts a suitably genteel tone to suit.

Twin Tales from Kutcch is not fiction; it is the story of the author`s ancestors, and is an informative as well as entertaining read.

There are b/w pictures of colonial buildings, of a china tea set that finds repeated mention in the book, and of a few characters, too. The wonderfully striking cover deserves special mention.

book reviewKutcchi MemonsSaeed IbrahimTwin Tales from Kutcch

Sheila Kumar • February 21, 2019

Previous Post

Next Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published / Required fields are marked *